CHICAGO (CBS) — Although the only confirmed case of Ebola in the U.S. so far is a patient in Texas, a west suburban hospital has been preparing to treat patients with the virus, just in case.
WBBM Newsradio’s Cisco Cotto reports Edward Hospital in Naperville began training staff two months ago to spot the symptoms of Ebola – including muscle pains, fever, and sometimes bleeding.
The hospital also taught staff to immediately ask if a patient with such symptoms recently traveled overseas.
Dr. Brent Smith, chief medical officer at Edward Hospital, said they have been trying to prepare to treat patients and protect staff.
“We have done extra training in the emergency department. We are also training physicians and our intensive care staff on the precautions to take for personal protection,” he said.
The hospital also placed signs in its emergency room, asking patients to let them know if they recently were on an international flight.
He said the hospital’s proximity to O’Hare International Airport prompted the hospital to take precautions regarding Ebola.
“The reason that we started this a couple months ago was because, living in Chicago with a major airport, the chance of having someone with travel history that came in with Ebola, the differential is a little higher than it would be in other parts of the country. So we wanted to make sure that we were prepared,” he said.
Ebola does not spread until a patient becomes ill, and it is only spread through direct contact with bodily fluids – such as blood, urine, feces, vomit, or semen – animals infected with the disease, or objects that have been contaminated with the virus. Ebola is not spread through the air, water, or food.